Cissy Houston facts: Whitney Houston's mother's age, children, husband and career revealed

26 October 2021, 15:46

Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed
Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed. Picture: Getty
Hannah Lovejoy

By Hannah Lovejoy

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Cissy Houston is a well-known soul and gospel singer. She is also the mother of the late Whitney Houston.

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Cissy Houston is a highly successful singer who has performed with iconic artists. She is also the mother of Whitney Houston and had a huge influence on Whitney’s early life and interest in music.

Here’s everything you need to know about Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston.

  1. Who is Cissy Houston?

    Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed
    Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed. Picture: Getty

    Cissy Houston is an award-winning gospel and soul singer who has performed with some of the world’s greatest performers.

    She is best known for performing as a back-up singer for artists such as Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.

    Read more: Listen to a young Whitney Houston’s stunning vocal in unearthed TV 'Steak & Ale' advert

    After Cissy and Aretha’s initial meeting, the pair went on to maintain a friendship that lasted for the rest of Aretha’s lifetime.

    Cissy’s success as a background singer led her to eventually start performing as a solo artist. Throughout her solo endeavours, Cissy has released several albums and won two Grammy awards.

    Cissy won her first Grammy in 1996 in the category Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album for her record Face to Face. Cissy won her second Grammy in the same category in 1998 for her album He Leadeth Me.

    Speaking about her early life in a rare interview, Cissy explained how she got into music from a young age.

    “My sisters and brother, there was four of us, we sang a quartet. [We sang] acapella first which was all they were doing at that time. And it’s wonderful, wonderful music,” Cissy explained.

    Read more: Watch Kelly Clarkson’s mesmerising cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘Saving All My Love For You’

    The Grammy-award winning singer explained that in her early childhood she didn’t enjoy singing and didn’t want to pursue it. Cissy explained further and said that she “learned to love it”.

  2. How many children did Cissy Houston have?

    Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed
    Cissy Houston facts: Singer’s age, children, husband and career revealed. Picture: Getty

    Cissy Houston had three children, her first child, a son named Gary Garland was from her first marriage.

    She then had two more children during her second marriage, her only daughter and singing icon Whitney Houston and her second son Michael Houston.

  3. Did Cissy Houston ever get married?

    Cissy Houston has been married and divorced twice, her first marriage was to Freddie Garland. They were married for around two years from 1954 to 1956 when they got divorced.

    Cissy’s second marriage lasted for over three decades, she married Whitney Houston’s father John Russell Houston in 1959.

    The couple had two children together and had a family including Gary from Cissy’s first marriage. Cissy and John were married for around 31 years and they got divorced in 1990.

    Read more: Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin’s incredible friendship explained

  4. How old is Cissy Houston?

    Cissy Houston was born on September 30, 1933 and she celebrated her 88th birthday in 2021.

    Cissy’s birth name was Emily Drinkard, however, she is known professionally as Cissy Houston.